September 26, 2018

 

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Andre-Joseph Leonard, part of the problem

 

A Belgian commission investigating sexual abuse within the Catholic Church said that the 475 cases of abuse reported in the first six months of the year extended to all parts of the country.
“We can say that no part of the country escapes sexual abuse of minors by one or several of its members,” said the authors of a report published on Friday.
The chairman of the Church-backed commission, Peter Adriaenssens, said that the majority of witnesses came forward after a bishop resigned in April over sexual abuse, causing turmoil within the Belgian church.
Most of the allegations were related to pedophilia committed by clergy members between the 1950s and late 1980s. However, claims were also made against teachers and adults working with youth movements.
The report reveals that abuse for most victims began at the age of 12, although one child was aged two and several were under seven.